Saturday, 7 December 2019

Capital City Move, Bappenas: Distancing from Dutch Colonial Past

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • President Joko Widodo (left) chats with Vice President Jusuf Kalla prior to presiding over a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Jakarta, April 29, 2019. The meeting focuses on the developments of the planned relocation of the nation's capital. ANTARA

    President Joko Widodo (left) chats with Vice President Jusuf Kalla prior to presiding over a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Jakarta, April 29, 2019. The meeting focuses on the developments of the planned relocation of the nation's capital. ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Bambang Brodjonegoro, said the planned relocation of the capital cityfrom Jakarta was partially based on Jakarta's history and initial role as the Dutch colonial government's administrative hub in the past.

    “It was developed by the VOC and was continued by the Dutch colonial government,” said Bambang at the Presidential Staff office on Monday.

    He believes that the Indonesian citizens yearn for a capital that is built on the people’s true desire. He added the new capital should become a modern city of international level.

    Bambang said the planned relocation was also in line with the government's focus for the country's mid-term national development for the next five years. He added the government sought to narrow the development gap between Java Island and the country's other regions. 

    ReadGovt to Build New Capital City on 300000-hectare Land

    Bambang said the national economic contribution still relied on Java Island with 58 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This follows another issue regarding population density and that the Java Island is home to 50 percent of Indonesians.

    “Java, Sumatra, and Bali in total contribute 80 percent, while other areas contribute around 20 percent,” said Bambang.

    The population gap between Jakarta and the second most-populated city in Indonesia is also too wide with Jakarta housing 10 million people, followed by Surabaya with 3 million people. 

    The planned relocation of the country's capital city again seized the public limelight after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo convened a limited cabinet meeting on it recently.  

    CAESAR AKBAR